|This article needs additional citations for verification. (May 2009)|
Ric Estrada self-portrait (2001)
February 26, 1928|
|Died||May 1, 2009(aged 81)|
Ric Estrada (February 26, 1928 – May 1, 2009) was a Cuban American penciler of comic books for companies including the major American publisher DC Comics. He also worked in comic strips, political cartoons, advertising, storyboarding, and commercial illustration.
Early life and career
Ric Estrada was born in Havana, Cuba. He made his first professional sale, an illustration used on the cover of the Cuban magazine Bohemia, at the age of 13. Estrada attended the University of Havana. Through his uncle, Sergio Carbo, Estrada met writer Ernest Hemingway; the two men facilitated Estrada's move to New York City in 1947 to further his artistic studies and start a career. Estrada there attended the New York Art Students League, New York University, and the School of Visual Arts. Estrada's first New York home was in Greenwich Village where he met fellow artists such as Lee J. Ames, Dan Barry, Sy Barry, Frank Frazetta, Andre LeBlanc, Mort Meskin, Pete Morisi, Don Perlin and George Roussos
In the 1950s, Estrada penciled and inked "Bunker", the first comic-book story to feature an African-American hero, and "Rough Riders". Both stories were for the EC Comics series Two-Fisted Tales. He also drew for Dell Comics, Hillman Periodicals, St. John Publications, and Ziff-Davis.  In 1967 and 1968, he drew stories for Warren Publishing's black-and-white horror comics magazine Eerie.
Much of Estrada's comic-book career was spent working for DC Comics. Though superheroes were not his preference Estrada worked on Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Wonder Girl, and Richard Dragon, and he created or first drew characters such as Lady Shiva, Professor Ojo, Amethyst and Karate Kid as well as co-creating Power Girl with Joe Orlando. Estrada also drew detective comics, romance comics, war comics and a few horror stories for DC. For example, in 1976, Estrada's work was in such high demand from DC that he illustrated the premiere issues of six separate titles that year: All Star Comics, Blitzkrieg, Freedom Fighters, Isis, Karate Kid, and Super Friends.
Estrada's preference was for the war stories. Among the war titles he worked on for DC Comics was G.I. Combat, for which he illustrated a number of stories in the ongoing features "Blitzkrieg" and "Robert Kanigher's Gallery of War", both written by Robert Kanigher.
While working on G.I. Combat #169, Estrada filled a page shortage with an account from the Book of Ether, a short book of scripture contained in the Book of Mormon. That story came to the attention of Hugh W. Pinnock, who was in charge of creating a comic-style adaptation of the New Testament for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and in 1980 Estrada drew all the pictures for that book.
Comic strips and animation
Estrada drew the Flash Gordon syndicated newspaper comic strip in sporadic stints during from the 1950s to the 1970s. In the 1980s, he collaborated on the animated television series He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, Galtar, The New Adventures of Jonny Quest, and Bionic Six.
Estrada died May 1, 2009, at 81, after a lengthy battle with prostate cancer.
- Lambiek Comiclopedia: Ric Estrada
- "Conflict!" by Don Magnus http://www.comicartville.com/manguswoodconflict.htm accessed March 10, 2010
- Evanier, Mark. "POV Online: News From Me: Ric Estrada, R.I.P.", column, May 1, 2009
- McAvennie, Michael; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1970s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. Dorling Kindersley. p. 169. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9. "Along with artist Ric Estrada, [Gerry] Conway also introduced the DC Universe to the cousin of Earth-2's Superman, Kara Zor-L a.k.a. Power Girl."
- McAvennie "1970s" in Dolan, p. 171: "Hanna-Barbera's animated Super Friends proved so successful that DC brought the concept full circle, adapting the show into a comic. Scribe E. Nelson Bridwell and artist Ric Estrada crafted the inaugural issue."
- Bob Kanigher's Gallery of War (fan site; no byline/date). WebCitation cache
- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: "New Testament Stories"
- Pullen Travis. FilmFodder.com: "Comics Fodder: Rest In Peace, Ric Estrada", May 2, 2009